French President: ‘Ban Unvaccinated From Social Life’
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
PARIS (Worthy News) – President Emmanuel Macron has warned those unvaccinated against COVID-19 that they will be banned from social life in the European Union country.
His comments come as across the EU COVID-19 health passes are increasingly used as a condition to enter public venues.
“As for the non-vaccinated, I really want to hassle them. And we will continue to do this to the end. This is the strategy,” Macron told the Le Parisien newspaper in an interview.
He added that this would mean “limiting as much as possible their access to activities in social life.”
The government seeks to push through parliament a law that will make vaccination compulsory to enjoy cultural activities, use inter-city train travel or visit a cafe from January 15. Macron said: “I am not going to put them (the non-vaccinated) in prison; I am not going to forcibly vaccinate them.”
However, “We have to tell them: from January 15, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee; you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema,” he stressed.
OPPONENTS CONDEMN MACRON
His comments have been condemned by political opponents who said the strong language was unworthy of a president.
Macron’s remarks have published a debate in parliament on the bill, which would bar the unvaccinated from much of public life, was prevented from continuing after midnight.
Several legislators had said they received death threats ahead of the vote.
Macron’s opponents accused the president of going too far with the language of his warning.
“No health emergency justifies such words,” said Bruno Retailleau, head of the right-wing Republicans in the upper house Senate.
“Emmanuel Macron says he has learned to love the French, but it seems he especially likes to despise them. We can encourage vaccination without insulting anyone or pushing them to radicalization”, he added.
Far-right leader Marine le Pen said on social networking site Twitter that “a president shouldn’t say that… Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
And leftist politician Jean-Luc Melenchon described the remarks as an “astonishing confession.” “It is clear, the vaccination pass is a collective punishment against individual freedom,” he added.
Macron has defended the planned measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 amid concerns about the Delta and Omicron variants
He is still to formally declare he will run for a second term in April’s presidential elections.
But Macron already told Le Parisien in Tuesday’s interview that he wanted to and will clarify his decision “once the health situation allows it.”
On Tuesday, the country reported 271,686 new daily COVID cases – the highest number of everyday infections recorded in France since the start of the pandemic.
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